Circular Plastics Technologies: Pyrolysis of Plastics to Fuels and Chemicals

Katrina Knauer, Cody Higginson, Minjung Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pyrolysis technologies are a staple in plastic chemical recycling because of the robustness to contamination and existing infrastructure. Pyrolysis is already considered to be a reasonably mature technology with numerous pilot plants operating to pyrolyze plastic waste into fuels and chemicals. This chapter will describe the pyrolysis process and important process parameters, the types of plastics that are suitable for pyrolysis recycling, the mechanism of pyrolytic degradation of various plastics, the products derived from different plastics, companies that have successfully scaled pyrolysis recycling, and recent innovations in the technology.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalPhysical Sciences Reviews
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston 2023.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-2800-86482


  • circularity
  • degradation
  • fuels
  • plastic
  • pyrolysis
  • thermolysis


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